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Windows 10 build 14986 contains a number of improvements for Asian users

If you're a Windows Insider, you might want to check out today's build, which is Windows 10 for PCs build 14986. It contains quite a few new features, and in fact, it's simply too much to include in one article. There's a long, long list of fixes, improvements, and known issues as well.

Indeed, this is a pretty major build, and if you live in an Asian market - or even if you just have some of your settings set to Chinese or Japanese - there are quite a few features that are aimed directly at you as well. Here's what's new:

Chinese Input Method Editor (IME) Improvements: We’ve heard your feedback about the Chinese typing experience, and we’ve happy to announce that we’ve made some changes based on what you’ve told us!

  • Smart fuzzy matching for pinyin and updated Microsoft Pinyin IME candidate pane experience: As part of our effort to improve the efficiency of Chinese input, the Microsoft Pinyin IME candidate pane has been updated to make it easier to find the candidate you’re looking for. The IME now more clearly indicates fuzzy pinyin candidates, along with tips for how to change the related settings. When you’re typing, this feature will be triggered automatically when fuzzy pinyin candidates are detected and it will show them in the candidate window. We’ve also added a small icon to indicate when a particular cloud candidate is trending. In addition, since most of these trending candidates are related to hot stories, when you have that candidate highlighted, we’ve made it easier to search and learn more about it.

  • New context menu for the IME mode: The IME mode indicator in the taskbar now has a context menu if you right-click it when using the Microsoft Pinyin or Wubi IME! It contains options to easily access that IME’s settings page, or show the language bar.

  • Microsoft Pinyin IME now supports importing and exporting self-learned phrases: If you enable self-learning, the Microsoft Pinyin IME can learn and store the phrases as you use it to type. With this build, these phrases can be now be exported and imported. This means that if you re-install your PC, or have multiple PCs to maintain, you can now keep the same user lexicon.

  • Wubi IME has been updated to support user-defined phrases: You can add custom phrases manually, or import and export custom phrase files. In the Wubi IME settings, click the “user-defined phrase” button to enter the custom phrase page.

Line Mode for Chinese (Simplified) Handwriting: With the Anniversary Update, the Chinese (Simplified) handwriting panel only supported entering text using box mode – writing a single character in each box, and then the character would disappear after the candidate had been finalized, and there was no way to edit the ink. We’re excited to announce that with 14986 that is now longer the case! Just like the Japanese handwriting panel, the Chinese (Simplified) handwriting panel now supports line mode, so you can write and edit your characters all in one continuous sentence. We’ve also added two editing gestures for users – a strikethrough to delete, and a circle to grouping.

New experience writing Chinese characters:

Deletion gesture:

Grouping gesture:

Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) Improvements:

  • It’s now possible to remove text prediction candidates. To do this, hover over the entry in the candidate list and an ‘X’ button will appear. Removed candidates will not be suggested next time.
  • Improving the Japanese IME conversion accuracy: Improving the conversion accuracy of Japanese IME is an ongoing goal of ours – with this build, we’ve enhanced our logic how we take into account previously determined context. To give an example, with the Anniversary Update, when typing “にんげんをやとう” in one shot and then converting the text, the IME would return the correct conversion. However, if you were to do the conversion in two parts (aka, type “にんげんを”, convert, and then type “やとう” and convert), the IME would return a different and potentially undesirable conversion. With the work lighting up with 14986, the IME will now return the same result in both cases. We have also improved learning behavior when user registered shortcut word (短縮語) is involved and added a new keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+.) so that you can flag particularly bad conversion errors. Conversions flagged in this way will be prioritized among all other mis-conversions when we investigate. We rely on your feedback to improve our conversion accuracy so please do report bad conversion errors when you see them!

  • Improved reliability and responsiveness: We’ve improved the responsiveness of the Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) and fixed an issue where key input might sometimes get stuck in certain environments. We also fixed an issue where the Japanese IME’s self-learning wouldn’t work in certain environments, and fixed an issue resulting in being unable to use the IME to enter text in a program that had been launched using Command Prompt’s “runas” command.

But that's not all. Cortana can now recognize music in Chinese, and the feature works exactly like it does in the U.S., in that you can tap the music icon or say, "你好小娜,这是什么歌".

If you're on the Fast ring, you can grab build 14986 by going to Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Update -> Check for updates. If you're not, go to the Windows Insider Program tab and click Get started. Once your PC reboots, go back and set it for the Fast ring.

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